Real Time Astrology: April 2017

 

The month of April is typically a dynamic month anyway, as history has shown time and again. I do think this particular April will be especially memorable, though I must caution it will be for very mixed reasons. We know we have to take the good with the bad and at the same time, right?

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Real Time Astrology: New Moon In Aries March 27th, 2017

 

The first lunation after the spring equinox (Sun entering Aries) in the northern hemisphere occurs March 27th (9:57 P.M. CST) in the form of a New Moon at 7 degrees Aries. The most notable feature of this New Moon is the conjunction to love, relationships, money and aesthetics planet Venus, in detriment and retrograde at 3 degrees Aries. Venus in a martial sign is in a mutual reception to Mars in Taurus, also in detriment. Flirtatious fighting! To paraphrase Tina Turner, this Aries New Moon can do things nice and easy, but it’s more fun to serve it up nice and rough… [Read more…]

Real Time Astrology: March 2017

 

March marches along (sorry) at a fairly ho-hum pace at first, picking up the tempo by months end. This is, of course, Pisces season, with Mercury in Pisces until March 13th and the Sun in Pisces until March 20th. The most notable of the events in March has already occurred by the time of this post (sorry!): Venus stationing retrograde at 13 degrees Aries on Saturday, March 4th. Venus will remain retrograde until April 15th and will remain retrograde in Aries for the rest of March. (Venus will retrograde into Pisces in April). Venus is in detriment in Aries, meaning it has to work harder here than in any other sign to express it’s true nature. This goes double when Venus is retrograde. The focus is the turning of values inwards and away from the values of society, our values as sovereign individuals becomes more important. Venus retrograde in Aries often shows the need to stand up, defend, or fight for the right to express individualistic values. This retrograde could very well be the end of many relationships and partnerships this month; of those that remain intact, there will have to be a newfound respect for the rights of the other to have their own values that may or may not match yours. The ability or lack thereof to allow differences can be the make or break of alliances. [Read more…]

Weirdo Book Reviews: Two Great Books On Fixed Star Algol

 

The fixed star Caput Algol, often simply referred to as Algol, has quite a fearsome reputation in astrology. Of course, one must always see the nuances of the potential behind the astrological interpretations before rushing to judgement, and also use personal experience with how potentials actually manifest in real life. Two books I’ve found very useful in de-mystifying Algol’s infamy are Beyond The Planets: Algol’s Use In Fixed Star Astrology by D.M. Hoover, and Brady’s Book Of Fixed Stars by Bernadette Brady.

 

It’s probably necessary to give a little explanation of what Algol is first. Algol is a fixed star located at 26-27 degrees of Taurus. It’s exact degree changes from time to time due to precession of motion, so you may occasionally see Algol located at 24 or 25 degrees Taurus for older chart interpretations. Algol is actually a binary star system -the first to be discovered- meaning the “star” is actually three stars that orbit and therefore eclipse each other like so:

 

Algol astrology stars eclipse

 

This eclipse orbit gives Algol the appearance from Earth of occasionally “disappearing” and then re-emerging with a distinct blink. Thus, in ancient times it became known as the “blinking demon” star. In Hebrew it was called “Satan’s Head”; its current name comes from an Arabic word meaning “head of the ghoul”, Al-Ghoul or now Algol. Ptolemy drew mythological connections to the story of Medusa, who was of course beheaded.

 

This association with cruelty, pain and even decapitation unfortunately seemed to be reflected in events associated with Algol. People nowadays do not like hearing these connotations, but they arose from somewhere and astrologers wouldn’t have continued such a brutal association unless it had merit. Algol is located in the sign of Taurus; while Taurus is generally thought of as a sensual, slow Venus-ruled earth sign, it has a shadow side just like every other astrology sign. The shadow side of the sign of The Bull is indeed a raging bull; slow to anger but when angered even slower to cool off. The earthiness of the sign means its dark side can manifest in physical ways; and as Taurus rules the neck, it became known that the bright blinking fixed star located in Taurus seemed to epitomize this brutal dark side.

 

There’s still the same associations of brute physical force, considerable violence, and severe neck/body injury attached to Algol today. As I have my Mars conjunct Algol (you use a tight orb -degree of separation- for fixed stars; 3 degrees or less for aspects) I, of course, have made a point of looking into how such a horribly malefic influence actually plays out in real life and in the charts of people who, like myself, are not in any way as violent or brutal as the reputation would suggest.

 

So, with that out of the way, the two books that I think explain Algol on a regular human level are the ones I’m hoping people will defer to when first studying Algol. The first book is Bernadette Brady’s Brady’s Book Of Fixed Stars. This is probably the more well known of the two, since it details pretty much all the fixed stars, not just Algol, so has been considered a staple in fixed star astrology interpretations.

 

Brady’s take on Algol is brief, then, but still illuminating. Brady explains that despite such associations with typical masculine areas of violence such as battles, assassinations and the like, Algol was generally considered a feminine star: the wife of the Devil to the Arabs, and in Talmudic Law Algol was actually Lilith, the first wife of Adam who was not made from Adam’s rib but was her own person and was cast out of the Garden of Eden for not being submissive. To quote Brady:

 

“Algol, in other words, is the wild, raw, frightening face of the outraged feminine which has been labeled as demonic or simply evil. This star seems to contain immense female passion and power. It is the power of the feminine or the potential power of Mother Nature, not to be called evil for being strong.”

 

Brady then goes on to use examples of Albert Einstein (Pluto conjunct Algol) unlocking the power of the bomb, and JFK’s and O.J. Simpson’s similar displays of maschismo and uncomfortable relationship to the feminine as examples of Algol at work.

 

We obviously learn from these types of sample cases, which leads me to the second book that I highly recommend. D.M. Hoover’s Beyond The Planets: Algol’s Use In Fixed Star Astrology is devoted exclusively to Algol and uses a wide selection of sample charts and history. The book offers little in the way of cookbook style interpretations, instead letting the examples speak for themselves.

 

At first glance, the examples in the book seem to reinforce the terrible reputation of Algol. The blinking demon star was prominent in events such as the 2012 Benghazi attack and the first World Trade Center bombing. Algol was also strong in the event chart of the invasion of Iraq, as well as in the birth charts of Condoleezza Rice, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and Saddam Hussein. It featured in the event charts of the Columbine school shooting and the Boston Marathon bombings, and again in the birth charts of the people who carried out those events. Timothy McVeigh, Jim Jones (the Jonestown Massacre in Guyana guy), and notable earthquakes and hurricanes also have Algol signatures in their respective charts.

 

So far, so not good… but, there’s just as many other examples in Hoover’s book that helps one see how Algol might affect otherwise ordinary, decent people. Sylvia Plath is an interesting example that seems to harken back to Brady’s impression that Algol can represent the repressed feminine that becomes feral or rabid if not released from the cages society has placed it in. Plath had Chiron (that odd mixture of pain and charisma) conjunct Algol, and Hoover has an interesting insight of this aspect as it played out in Plath’s chart:

 

“In Sylvia’s natal chart, it was Chiron symbolizing the inner wound that never healed for her… It’s uncanny to think that Sylvia wrote in her nove The Bell Jar about “the windowless corridor of pain”, or what was to become her own bell jar. She penned the words, “From the bottom of a pool, fixed stars govern a life”.” 

 

(As an aside, the poet Ted Hughes whom Plath fell in love with was an avid astrologer himself, and supposedly she used to tease him about drawing up charts for everything he did.)

 

Stephen King and Martin Luther King Jr. are two more examples in the book of good people with a malefic influence in their charts, both with their North Node (their manifesto) conjunct Algol. Dr. King was not the perpetrator of violence; he was someone who definitely had firsthand experience of it and he used his passionate response to violence to preach the gospel of non-violence, and to inspire others into tangible actions leading to change and reform. Unfortunately, he was another Algol person who was assassinated. At this point I have to say that having a strong Algol in a chart does not show assassination or unfortunate endings just by itself; other factors must be taken into consideration, of course. Stephen King hasn’t been assassinated, though he did nearly lose both legs in an severe accident. Algol conjunct his North Node seems to have operated in his life by aligning his life purpose with the psychological understanding and expression of the deeply unsettling and pathological. Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung also have strong Algol aspects, and in other examples in Hoover’s book we see that it isn’t a stretch to imagine that Algol’s ferocity need not be physically violent but can be psychologically aware of the brutality of life that others would prefer to run from.

 

A few other examples from Hoover’s book: we do not have reliable birth information for Joan of Arc (there’s that wild woman influence again) but at the time of her being burned at the stake (ahem, for being her own person) transit Jupiter was conjunct Algol at the mundane level. Edgar Cayce would go on to do a reading for a woman from Lyons that he believed to be the reincarnation of Joan of Arc; his client was born with Jupiter conjunct Algol.

 

One interesting case study for me -because I’m a music geek- was the plane crash that killed The Big Bopper, Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valens (aka “The Day The Music Died”). In his book, Hoover explains that the last two of those singers had prominent Algol aspects in their charts, particularly Ritchie Valens who had a Venus-Jupiter-Algol conjunction in his 3rd house. What isn’t mentioned in Hoover’s book but that I knew from memory when I seen this event included (again, music geek) was that Waylon Jennings was supposed to be aboard that flight but, in a twist of fate, didn’t go:

 

“After a show in Clear Lake, Iowa, on February 2nd, Holly decided to charter a plane for himself, guitarist Tommy Allsup and Jennings so they could fly to Fargo, North Dakota, instead of taking the long, frozen bus trip. Richardson, who was suffering from the flu, asked Jennings for his seat on the plane, and Valens asked the same of Allsup. When Jennings told Holly that he was going to take the bus, Holly jokingly told him he hoped the bus broke down, to which Jennings replied, “I hope your ol’ plane crashes!” 

 

“God almighty, for years I thought I caused it,” the country legend said decades later.”

 

So, of course I looked up Waylon Jennings chart; Algol conjunct the Midheaven opposed by Mars in Scorpio conjunct the IC; in some weird way he still experienced Algol without actually experiencing Algol…

 

So, Algol didn’t earn her fearsome reputation for nothing, but hopefully these two books will put a more humane and insightful face on her and the people who live life in that gear. To close this article out on a more successful ending, one of the case studies not found in ether book but that I personally like is actor Danny Trejo, Taurus Sun conjunct Algol:

 

Danny Trejo ASTROLOGY

 

who started out life as a juvenile delinquent, becoming addicted to drugs and alcohol, served time in prison and at one point was maybe eligible for the death penalty. Of course, after controlling the demon star within he’s known now for his softer side, working still as a drug counselor and of course as an often comedic actor.

 

 

 

 

Why You Should Keep Up With Your Progressed Moon

 

The Moon, more than any other body in our astrological orchestra, gets personal. The Moon’s job is to sensitize us to the larger planetary activities; “bringing it home” you might say. Most people who read here started by reading my regular writeups on the mundane lunar cycles that affect us all. The new and Full Moons help us see in real time how the Moon synthesizes big things and then dumps them into our individual laps. The natural ebb and flow of the perpetual lunar cycle sets the rhythm in our lives that feeds into and off of the long riffs of the slower moving planets.

 

The progressed Moon is no exception. Most people who know a little about astrology beyond their Sun sign know what sign their Moon is in. This does not change. However, your progressed Moon changes signs quite frequently, at the rate of approximately one sign every 2.5 years. The progression of the Moon acts as a natural unfolding in our lives; while transits may feel like something is “happening” to us (for better or worse), the progressed Moon changing signs on a regular schedule acts Lee’s as something being done to you and more as something growing, ripening. A person can look back at transits as a chunk of life where “something happened”, whereas a person will look back at progressions and say “I’ve changed a lot since then”. Since the progressed Moon gets personal and hits home, the progressed Moon changing signs as frequently as it does means it is worth paying attention to for cycles of growth, maturity and emotional changes.

 

Newbies to astrology can easily figure out their progressions. Go to https://astro.com and put in your birth data, including your time of birth. Save to create your birth chart. Now, go to the “Extended Chart Selection” page. Where it says “please select a chart type” you will just select “Progressed Chart” and click to show the chart. All done!

 

Here’s useful information to keep in mind when doing your progressed Moon:

 

  • The progressed Moon moves at the pace of about one degree per month. When it touches something in your chart, you will feel it for about 3 months: one month moving towards the exact aspect, one month in exact aspect and one month separating.
  • Since it changes signs every 2.5 years, your progressed Moon will return to the place of your birth Moon after it passes through the other 11 signs of the zodiac. You’ll have a progressed Moon conjunct natal Moon somewhere between the ages of 28 and 56. This roughly precedes the Saturn Return cycle at the ages of 30 and 60, which is a major cycle of growth and maturity and realism about the direction of one’s life. The progressed Moon conjunct natal Moon represents a temporary state of either emotional overwhelm or emotional fulfillment, depending on how one is handling their Saturn Return.
  • The progressed Moon will square the natal Moon much more frequently, at the ages of 7, 21, 35, 49, 63, and 77. This too roughly corresponds to the Saturn cycle, though this is the Saturn square Saturn transit at these ages. Progressed Moon square natal Moon around the times of the Saturn squares creates moments of frictional frustration that forces emotional maturity, whether you’re ready for it or not. You can see this as the times we first enter school, leave school and become independent adults, reevaluate our lives as adults, and either hit midlife crisis or midlife satisfaction and reward.
  • The progressed Moon opposes the birth chart Moon at around the ages of 14, 42 and 70. Age 14 is another Saturn cycle we’re being sensitized to, this time it is the opposition and the Moon sensitizes the maturation process here as growth spurts and physical maturation in the form of full fledged puberty (the Moon rules hormones), and the process of moving away from childhood and developing our adult personas.
  • When your progressed Moon changes signs, look to the planet that rules that sign as you’re more sensitive to that planet now. Progressed Moon in Aries? Look for transits to natal Mars or from transiting Mars. Progressed Moon in Sagittarius? Look where Jupiter is transiting in your chart, or what is impacting your natal Jupiter. These transits you’d feel anyway, but you feel them more up front if the planet rules the sign of your progressed Moon.
  • Those with progressed or natal ascendant in Cancer will feel the change of their progressed Moon as strongly as if it were a transit; usually with distinct demarcation points. In other words, they will look back at the periods their progressed Moon was in a sign as distinct “chapters” in their life.
  • A New Moon, Full Moon or eclipse in the sign of your progressed Moon feels similar to these lunations happening in the same sign as your birth Moon.
  • The progressed Moon will also conjunct and oppose the natal and progressed Sun, which effectively creates a progressed New Moon  (at the conjunction) and a progressed Full Moon  (at the opposition).

 

When my progressed Moon was in Aquarius, I connected for the first time with family I had never met before, and it was quite shocking. Even though I had initiated it, I was still surprised by it. My social circle also fluctuated. When my progressed Moon entered Pisces, my social circle was basically me attracting people using substances I had never used, because even though I’m a sober teetotaler I was spacey enough during this time that I probably seemed stoned on occasion. When my progressed Moon hit Aries, I quite literally nearly worked myself to death, culminating in a physical collapse at the last degree of Aries. When my progressed Moon hit Taurus, I immediately found an easier job and also learned how to cook everything from scratch. It was a quiter, easier time until the end, because I have natal Mars in Taurus conjunct Algol and while I’m not one to lose my temper I did end up in major arguments with people testing my patience, quite out of character for me…

 

What can you see from looking back at the cycles of the progressed Moon changing signs?

 

 

Wanna Seduce Aries? Seduce Their Mars Sign First!

Vintage Laverda motorcycle postcard

Vintage Laverda motorcycle postcard

 

The question of how to appeal to Aries – the sign of high vitality and low attention span – was brought up recently in a consultation with a client. I felt it was worthy of its own explanation in a post. A lot of people read those by-the-numbers formulaic astrology instructions on how to seduce this or that Sun or rising sign, with mixed results. Probably the very last sign you’d want to try such an approach with is Aries. It’s a common mistake to think that Aquarius is the most individualistic sign of the zodiac; that title actually belongs to Aries. Arise is the first sign of the zodiac and as such identifies closely with its ego and desires much the same way as a child does: purely and instinctively and immediately. Aries likes to think of itself as being as unique as a single snowflake (regardless of how true that might actually be), so approaching them as if they can be neatly summarized, as if you already know something about them, is the very last thing any of them want.

 

A better attempt of understanding how the Aries ego and energy is expressed, and how to pique their curiosity enough to want to pursue/be pursued, is to look at their Mars sign. You may think that passion for everyone is shown by their Mars; that’s true, but more true for Aries. As the ruling planet of individualistic, independent Aries, Mars colors each Aries persons approach to romance and seduction. Looking at the sign and house that Mars is in as well as the aspects it makes in the Aries persons birth chart will provide you with a lot of information about what gets them excited. Not all Aries want to pursue or be pursued in aggressive, Mars-y ways; their love style may not be obvious and it’s better to find out what they really want than to assume.

 

A small basic sampling of Aries through their Mars sign:

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